Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Ephesians 2:19-22

"Consequently..." Every time I hear or read this word, I am transported back to junior high school. I'm sitting in my ninth grade Spanish class, listening to my teacher say the word "consequently" for what seems like the hundredth time. I catch the eye of my friend Joe, and we snicker behind our hands. For some strange reason, our teacher is smitten with the word "consequently." Her obsession with this word has become the running joke in the class.

Yet, in fairness to this word, it is more than a joke. In English, "consequently" draws attention to conclusions made on the basis of evidence. When someone says "consequently," we know that what follows is a result of what has been stated earlier. So, for example, I might say something like this: "It rained two inches last night. Consequently, my grass will grow like mad this week, and I'll have to mow it in a few days."

Ephesians 2:19 in the NIV begins with the word "consequently," which is rightly translated by the Greek phrase ara oun. "Consequently" tells us that what we're about to read depends logically on what has gone before. Specifically, we are going to discover some implications of the fact that Christ has reconciled Jews and Gentiles through his death on the cross, reconciling both groups to God and giving both groups access to the Father by the Spirit. The consequence of Christ's reconciling work will reiterate the inclusion of the Gentiles among the people of God. It will also lead to a new way of thinking about what it means to be God's people together. This new perspective can radically change the way you think about yourself and your participation in the community of Christians.

Ephesians 2:19-22 reminds us to live our lives in light of the cross of Jesus Christ. The cross is the basis of our individual salvation, to be sure. But it touches so much more of life than this. It gives us a whole new way of thinking and living as a member of God's family and a crucial part of his "holy temple." As you go about your business today, may I encourage you to consider how the cross of Christ impacts your feelings, choices, and relationships. Allow the cross to direct your life at home and at work, in the grocery store and on the ball field.

QUESTIONS FOR FURTHER REFLECTION: How does the cross of Christ impact the way you live each day? How might your life be different if you lived regularly in light of the cross?

PRAYER: As we press on in our devotional study of Ephesians 2, Lord, help us to come to a deeper and truer understanding of the cross and its implications for daily living. By your Spirit, help me to live out the truth and power of the cross today. Amen.

Image courtesy of Laity Lodge, one of our sister programs in the Foundations for Laity Renewal.